In anticipation of Memorial Day this year, I did a little research to find out exactly how many families have paid the ultimate sacrifice of sending their loved ones off to war, never to return to them. I was amazed at the huge numbers of deaths, especially during World War I and II but had no idea the numbers were so high for the Civil War, especially since our population was nearly 1/3 of what it is today. Take a look at each war and the total American Fatalities for each.
American Revolutionary War 22,674
War of 1812 11,700
Mexican-American War 13,271
American Civil War (1860-1965) 618,000
Spanish-American War 5,385
Philippine-American War 4,196
World War I (1917-1918) 117,465
World War II (1941-1945) 418,500
Korean War (1950-1953) 36,516
Vietnam War 58,159
Gulf War (1991) 382
War on Terror (2001-present)
Afghanistan (2001-present) 1,413
Iraq (2003-present) 4,430
Total Military Deaths 1,312,091
Although many are unhappy with our presence in the middle east at this time, the number of casualties has been remarkable low considering we have been there for over a decade.
But to a spouse or child grieving that soldier’s death, they are the only one who matters in all these statistics. And it is their sacrifice I think about today. Their pain, their grief, their loss, their sorrow.
Each military family who has either lost a loved one or is grieving the loss of limbs, sustained head injuries, or life as they once knew it, are forever changed.
So today we remember them for their courage, their commitment, their sacrifice and thank them for all of it.